Keeping Her Resolution – A Quadrille and Runfession #17, January 2022

She is heard before seen

Her breathing huh-huh-huh heavy 

As if suffocating on the cold air

Yet not actually dying 

Puffs of effort-filled mist 

Emanating from her open mouth 

Her chicken-plucked skin shivering 

Despite the winter sun

No sweat to prove

Her dedicated determination

Guess who this quadrille is about?

I started writing this poem last week but didn’t get a chance to finish and lost the original “essence’ of what I was going to write. Thank goodness for Merrill’s d’Verse Quadrille #144 prompt – Shiver for getting me back on track! I also have to give props to Björn for his response, “Afterward” and to Kate for her response, “Quiver” to this prompt that set my wheels turning again! Check out “Mr. Linky” for other wonderful shivering submissions! NOTE: I did “cheat” a little with my hyphenated words which I counted as one word to make the 44 word limit. Merrill – will you let that slip buy? I’ll buy you a drink at the d’Verse bar! 😉

So, obviously the “she” in this quadrille is me! This my first Runfession of 2022 but my 17th Runfession blog post since I started doing them in 2019. My last Runfession was actually in January of 2021 – so it has been a year that I’ve been on my running hiatus. Yikes!! Now the huffing and puffing make sense!

You can’t tell from the picture, but it was a pretty cold day when I decided to do a short and quick outdoor interval run. But the sun was out and I had set a goal for myself to restart running/walking/moving of any kind this month.

I have to admit, getting back to running has been hard especially due to my knee injury which hasn’t fully resolved. I’m trying to take it easy and focus on form and (time) endurance rather than speed and mileage. It’s a different way of running, a different idea of myself as a runner but if I want to keep running, this is what I have to do. Slow and steady wins the race, right? Right?…

Also linking to Marcia’s Health Slice, originator of the Runfession.

©️ 2022 iido

The Muse Despairs – A Quadrille

In a cavern

My muse languishes.

Beside her

A broken paddle,

And smashed frame.

Her voice blusters,

A construct of words without meaning

The how of creation

Forgotten in the wake of her shipwreck.

Without poetry,

My muse readies herself

For the long goodnight.

This photo was taken somewhere in Nevada – we had stopped at a place with underground caverns.
The coolness was a relief from the heat outside. I can’t remember the name now, but I remember the feeling.

A double achievement today – and maybe proof that my muse is alive and well! First, this poem which was inspired by De Jackson’s dVerse Monday Quadrille prompt to write a poem of 44 words incorporating the word “muse.” I have to admit, I had forgotten it was quadrille Monday and had written a lovely yet longer poem which I then had to cut down to 44 words. Hopefully, I chose the right 44 words to keep!

Secondly, I am almost caught up with keeping my streak for Patrick’s Pic and a Word Weekly Challenge! Well, if a streak could zig zag and backtrack and then move forward…what do you say, Patrick? I’ve incorporated #296 – Bluster, #288 – Wakes, #282 – Cavern, #281 – Paddle, #280 – Construct, #279 – Frame, #278 – Creation and #276 – Poetry. As a blogger, consistency is key so I am quite proud of my efforts in keeping this streak going.

The muse may be despairing in this quadrille, however, I have to admit, I am feeling quite the opposite. Maybe it’s because it’s a new year…maybe it’s because I am writing again and reconnecting with all of you and reading all the wonderful bloggers that I have missed in the past few months…maybe it’s because I have also started running again….maybe it’s because all these maybes mean potential and potential is hope…and if ever there was a better muse to muse about, it would be Hope.

©️ 2022 iido

Watersource – A Compound Word Verse

fingers whisper, curl and beckon

enticed, my thoughts try to reckon

watercress

eyes with hazel depths hold hidden 

promises that are forbidden

waterproof

words flush doubt down and out my head

rocks become pillows on the bed

waterjet 

thoughts tumble and swirl, confusion

swallowed by dark adoration

waterfront

desire so verdant, lush, alive

lull my senses to take the dive

waterfall

Image credit; Sean Robertson @ Unsplash 
For the visually challenged reader, the image shows a natural pool fed with streams. There is mist on its surface and there are green moss covered rocks surrounding it.

I am late for submission to Sadje’s What do you see #104 (I am out of practice and I forget about the time difference) but the photo she chose and the poetry form introduced by Grace at dVerse have been swirling around and around in my head. Grace chose the Compound Word Verse, a challenging poetry form that piqued my interest (which I am late to submit for as well). I first tried to use the root word “pool” for my compound word but when I realized I needed five compound words, I had to switch to something that had more possibilities (I couldn’t make up cool new compound words like Kate did – read her take on it here).

I used a lot of enjambed sentences in my version of this form. This was accidental as it took me three verses to realize that because “water” had two syllables, that I could only use the compound word for that last line. As I am coming to learn though – there are no accidents in life. Things happen for a reason and most of the time, we will not know what that reason is.

Not searching for “reason” has actually helped me during this pandemic. I think if I tried to figure out why people were doing the things they were doing, why all these awful things have been happening, why so many people have died – I would have gone into a deep, deep depression. Instead, I’ve held on to the belief that God has a plan and is taking care of things. So I don’t have to figure things out, just trust that He knows what he is doing. Maybe this is why they say that reason is the opposite of faith!

What’s kept you going? Has that changed in the long months of pandemic? What do you need/want now to continue? Suggestions welcome (asking for a friend! LOL!).

©️ 2021 iido

Doubting Starlight – Prosery

The starlight winks, as if it is a joke that it is crucial to finding the way. Is this? There is no beginning or end – the sky goes on and on and on – how do we know this is the right one to follow? Balthazar says this one suddenly appeared. Melchior observes this same one hasn’t wavered course.  

Gaspar holds the compass in one hand and my hand in the other, “My dear, trust my friends, this is the one, He will be the one.” 

I smile at him, my king and my love. “I will follow you to the ends of the earth, but this star, is it really that important? I see it twinkling, laughing at us poor mortals who follow without knowing the destination.” 

Smiling, Gaspar leads me to the camels, “We will know we have arrived, when we get there.”

Photo by Neale LaSalle on Pexels.com

Hello, Readers! Merril’s Prosery Monday at d’Verse and Patrick’s Pic and a Word Challenge #271 – Starlight inspired this little story and brought me out of my writing drought. If you are a Christian, you might recognize the names used here although in the Bible, the names of the maji or where they came from or even how many there actually were and what they rode were never specified.

Merril’s prosery prompt also required the use of the phrase, “Crucial to finding the way is this: there is no beginning or end.” written by US Poet Laureate, Jo Harjo in “A Map to the Next World.” I changed the punctuation to fit the story, hoping to evoke the sense of faith and trust.

This sense of faith and trust is something that, I feel, is missing in our world right now – or at least in my world. Our state will be removing the mandates for masks at the end of this month. From then on, we will rely on the “honor system” – that people who are not wearing masks are fully vaccinated (as per CDC guidelines) and that if you are not fully vaccinated, that you will continue to mask.

I doubt that everyone who is not wearing a mask will be fully vaccinated.

As of today, only 45% of people in my state are vaccinated. That means it is more likely that the unmasked person in front of me is unvaccinated.

Without faith and trust that the people around me are doing the right thing and following the rules like I am, the honor system doesn’t work. Is faith and trust crucial to finding our way in this world? I would say, “Yes.”

©️ 2021 iido

Brambled Illusion – A Quadrille

I see the sweet berry –

Life as it used to be

I reach through the brambles

Grasping and gasping

The pain of worry scratching

The sting of despair drawing blood

The sweet berry out of reach

Life as it used to be –

An illusion

Not a bramble, but the rough bark is a sharp contrast to the softness of these blossoms.

A late offering for dVerse’s Quadrille #108 – Bramble. This has been a busy week, not so much physically, but mentally (and to be honest, emotionally).

I’ve been doing a lot of research on the pros and cons of sending kids back to school. There are a lot of different opinions out there. Depending on who the opinion is from, sending kids back to school is either imperative or tantamount to child abuse. Even the medical community doesn’t have a consistent message.

There are a lot of competing factors: parents who need to work or just need a break from their kids yet wanting to keep their kids safe; teachers who need to work but worry about their own health and that of their families; administrators who aren’t getting any guidance now suddenly tasked with making these life or death decisions; and of course, politicians who have their own agendas. The most conflicting discussions are the ones debating the importance of children’s physical health versus their emotional/social health.

Why do we have to chose?

These thorny, convoluted questions have made a bramble of my mind. But one thing I am sure of – we will never be able to go back to how life was before.

©️ 2020 iido

Night Sounds – A Quadrille

The whisper of dry leaves

Parting to accommodate the stretching 

Of things growing taller, wider.

The frantic drumming of little hearts

Creating eddies of air

With delicately powerful moonlit wings

Which is louder in the still of the night

When no one is listening?

Image credit- Pixabay
(For visually challenged reader, the image shows a woodland scene, where blue butterflies are sitting on the forest floor among tiny mushrooms. Tall trees are visible in the background)

Two inspirations combined this week for the quadrille above. Mish at dVerse is the host for Quadrille #106 – Drum and Sadje’s “What do you see?” photo challenge #34 provided the photo above.

I loved the peaceful beauty of this photo – exactly what I needed to see with all the turmoil in the world. I could imagine the quiet breath of fluttering wings, the hush of the forest. The human photographer must have waited long time, in silence, in order to catch this photo and not disturb the wonder of nature.

Humans disturb nature in so many ways. Reading the essays in The BeZine made me realize the tremendous impact of human behavior, human self-interest and – dare I say it? – human selfishness, on the destruction of our natural world, the destruction of our brothers and sisters, and ultimately, our own destruction.

There is a saying that I’m sure you’ve seen on nature trails, “Take only pictures, leave only footprints.” But what if even our footprints destroy the very things that brought us to the nature trail to begin with? We would be able to take those pictures, but the people coming after us would not. Would getting these pictures be worth that destruction?

©️ 2020 iido

Harvesting Questions – A Quadrille

What harvest will we reap

When the seeds of isolation bloom?

Will it feed the hunger of connection?

Or will it be blighted with fear?

Is food for our soul

A quick fix for the 

Needs of our bodies?

Which god should we worship?

That old saying, “You reap what you sow”…. who planted snowflakes?

Racing against time to get this quadrille in for De Jackson at dVerse, Quadrille #104 – Fix. I was also able to incorporate Patrick’s Pic and a Word Weekly Challenge #223 – Harvest (back on track and continuing my streak!!) as well as, Kate’s Friday Fun Prompt – Worship. I am so pleased with myself for finding the time to write today and get some of my thoughts out on paper. This is my 3rd post for today! I’ve never done that before….maybe it’s because I have to run tonight…..

I’ve been looking into virtual summer camps for my kids today and thinking about what we can focus on for this summer – academics, athletics, or amusement? At the same time, I was reading parenting blogs about how parents are dealing with kids being home all the time during shelter in place. The saying, “You reap what you sow” popped in my head – what summer seeds do I want to sow in my kids that will lead to a “good harvest”? What does a “good harvest” look like?

I’m going to be thinking about this during my run tonight…

©️ 2020 iido

Silly Me – A Quadrille

It was silly of me 

To think it would be 

Different

After we were allowed out

I ran through the streets

Exuberant with

Gratitude

Love 

For surviving

Without what we 

Most cherished

Then realized

I was alone

Because to Others 

I was still nothing

 

img_1799

Image credit: Pixabay- Zhugher
( For visually challenged reader, the photo shows a man, on a pier, in a carefree swinging movement. A body of water is visible in the background.)

Lillian from dVerse requested quadrilles with theme “silly”, however, I could not rise to that challenge with all that has transpired this week weighing on me. Apologies, Lillian! I will try for a more light-hearted poem for next week.

This quadrille was also written for Sadje’s What to do you see? Photo Prompt #28. I had so many thoughts about this picture of a man – is he dancing? just strolling along? I think the background is in NYC, maybe looking into Queens but I am not sure. I have more thoughts about it though, but I have to confess, my mind has been preoccupied.

Finally, Patrick’s Pic and a Word Challenge #231 – Nothing, completes this trifecta. While his “nothing” conjures relaxation and peace, my “nothing” has undertones of anger and hurt. Interesting how “nothing” can actually be more than one thing….

My mind is overwhelmed  yet I am finding it hard to put into words all the thoughts that keep spilling…

I did find this piece of calming inspiration written by Gina on her piece, Temporary.  She writes:

Temporary is here
permanently,
our home on earth is a gift
not a guarantee
isolation is life with a new colour
a temporary home,
one we did not order
nothing we ever deserved……

I have to find a new color to paint this part of my world……

ahmaud run graphic_20200507010413380515

 

© 2020 iido

Running Under Quarantine – A Quadrille

Running under quarantine,

Masked,

Alone

Like a thief who didn’t

Get away with

Anything.

I pass

Closed parks,

Closed shops,

Closed hearts.

I pass

Suspicious eyes

Above smiley face emoji masks.

I return home relieved

Not refreshed.

I can’t run away

From racism’s virus.

60763410271__E024B41E-CA64-4837-87CC-F54CDAE2C7AE

I’ve been missing poetry prompt deadlines on WordPress because…coronavirus…what else is there to blame all the ills of world on?  Even though some of those ills have been going on for generations…

This quadrille was written for De Jackson at dVerse’s Quadrille #101 – Close and also incorporates Patrick’s Pic and a Word Challenge #226 – Running and #227 – Running (I’m late for one, but “early” for the other…what is this world coming to?? =). Seriously though, if you get a chance to read Patrick’s musing on this post about social distancing, please do. His melancholy acceptance makes so much sense.

I, on the other hand, have not yet reached that point. I am still grieving and shaking my fist at the air, asking “Why? Why? Why?” I am also shaking my fist at the news and giving a one finger salute whenever a specific person and/or his “loyal followers”  minimizes the impact of this pandemic. So, despite trying to do all the “right” things to come to terms with current situation, the struggle continues.

Running does help, as does any physical activity, especially outside.  This week, the kids and I have gone on scavenger hunts, had two dance parties and taken walks (can you guess which are outside versus inside activities?).  I’ve done most of my running on the treadmill, though, as the kids haven’t wanted to venture out too far on our walks. I fear that I have put the fear of the virus in them, and they are worried about venturing too far from home.

While this virus is a “new” real threat, it does feel like the “old” real threat of racism which has been a pandemic in the USA since the Pilgrims set foot in the “New World”. Since the first reported outbreak of the coronavirus, there has been a correlated increase in the incidents of hate crimes against Asians and Asian-Americans. Racism in the USA can also be blamed for why people of color (especially Black men) might not be comfortable wearing masks at this time, and also why more people of color are dying from COVID-19 relative to the number of people in the general population. Disparities in all aspects of US society are being laid bare by this pandemic (read more about this here, here and here).

So, I too, worry about running outside alone, with or without a mask. The threat is real as evidence by the data – that’s true whether it’s racism or COVID-19.

 

(c) 2020 iido